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April 1, 2021 8:00 am
Here's and Graham lots when things aren't going right. God may have a greater purpose. God sometimes his ways are just not Wayne, thank you for joining us you're listening to living in the light with Bible teacher and grandma part one of her message.
The patient waiting for Jesus appears in with a childhood story from her own life. A perfect illustration for today's message from the book of Habakkuk when a girl when daddy would take off and ignore that so we come back to school.
Where is that he's gone.
Just nevermind. But when he came home. When daddy would come home mother would make a big deal of it and so when he would come home. This is Junior I guess how old I am, but there were airports around so much so he came in on the train and the train came in the Black Mountain but my grandmother would polish into the car and she would races down the mound old Fort nephew came up Interstate 40 at the come to all for it and it's just the rounding good on the winding 40 and it was not for event which is Highway 70 but anyway came out. No for an old Fort there's an intersection and the train tracks cross the intersection and the train would come through that intersection. So my grandmother puts in the car would go down the old Fort would watch and wait and here comes a train and the person would blow in the light would flash the little arms or go down to block people from crossing on the tracks and and then the train would go on to old Fort and I would head up the mountain.
Grandmother would turn the car around and would raise up the mountain and we would get the Black Mountain and we will pull out at the train station and would stand out on the sidewalk in and if you go to Black Mountain is the same train tracks are there and the same road that crosses him and if you look east. The train tracks are long straightaway. And then at the end of the straightaway. There's a right-hand band you can't see past that band. We would stand beside the train tracks and would look down that band and were waiting near we knew daddy was coming because we saw the train go through the intersectional for so now just checking its way up the mountain and were waiting and waiting and then the lights flashed and arms come down and we hear the whistle ball and then we see that big headlight coming around the band and here comes the train and pulls up to the train station and daddy gets off the train.
Daddy has come home and that's a little bit like I feel now because it's like I'm waiting for Jesus to come and I saw him go through the intersection. He came the first time so I know he's coming this that he said I'm going to prepare a place you will come directly to Thomas on know he's coming back so he's promised and when he went up on the Mount of olives and send it back to heaven the angels came and said the same Jesus, you saw God, he will come back so I know he's coming because his first coming. He went through the intersection. We saw him and now he's gone to his heavenly home, but is coming back to take us to be with himself.
So now I'm at the train station and I'm waiting and looking down the train tracks and I know he's coming. What's taking them so long and I know is coming and it's like I see the lights flashing in the bar going down and I see all the signs indicating that it's any moment and the signs that he gives in Scripture that need to be fulfilled before that moment comes all been fulfilled and some waiting and waiting and I'm waiting, waiting, and I'm still waiting. And that's where Habakkuk was waiting for God to keep his promise, waiting for God to do something in his nation to turn this nation around and I think Habakkuk is holy book is a prayer.
So in this series for in this final hour. I didn't include a message just strictly on prayer, but this is it because Habakkuk's message is a prayer to get turned Habakkuk best way to find it is go to Matthew.
Turn left and if you get there. Ezekiel you gone too far. Some in your find the little book of Habakkuk and use Habakkuk rustles while he waits and he watches and then he worships.
And so we just see him working through just this waiting. That so hard. Waiting is one of the hardest spiritual disciplines to learn and so Habakkuk is deeply disturbed by what he sees going on in his nation and in his lifetime that we just set them up for a moment, because in his lifetime. Habakkuk is seen the northern kingdom of Israel with a series of wicked wicked kings. Each king more wicked than the one that went before, and then God kept sending prophets to warn them to lodge it was one you are warning them you need to repent. You need to turn around from your rebellion are Dolch or judgments coming in the northern kingdom of Israel did not heed the warnings and so God sent in the Assyrian and Assyrians were brutal and actually Isys univariate. Their roots are in Syria, so it was that kind of brutality and they carried the northern kingdom of Israel off for good that the northern kingdom of Israel never came back and I don't know about the lost tribes of Israel and all that but it was wiped out by the Assyrians and then Habakkuk saw that and now it's like déjà vu because in July he sing the same thing happen and they haven't had a series of bad kings, one after another.
They've had a bad king and a good king and a backing and a good king but every good king is a little less good than wonderful and so they're going down down down but they had a wonderful king Josiah who actually lead in revival and it was something that would've been an answer to prayer. As far as the people like Habakkuk, and just I had led the nation in a revival and then Egypt. At that point was the world empire in Egypt controls Judah, the southern kingdom, and so Judah was sort of a satellite nation, and Josiah rebelled against Egypt so we went to war against Egypt and in the same valley where Armageddon will take place.
Josiah was killed in battle against the Egyptian and then Egypt was overtaken by the upstart nation babbling and Habakkuk is witnessing this, and now he is seeing God warning Judah you repent of your idolatry.
You turn around or you going to come under judgment and Habakkuk is actually ministering to his nation in the final hour and so Habakkuk is wrestling while he is waiting and I just want to pause for a moment of I would like to apply this message in three ways.
One, I want to apply to America and are concerned that what we see with the warnings are coming in one after another and were being worn. Judgment is coming in so we can apply. Habakkuk's message in his heart's cry to what he saw in his nation is what we see in our nation but like to also plot maybe to what you see in the church and we long to have revival come in the church and sometimes what we see and what were praying for. We just feel the churches instead of being revived. We keep hearing stories and maybe it's in your church where there is division there is the sentient they're preoccupied with themselves are not concerned with the lost world. It doesn't seem to be, and people are leaving the church and the statistics will show that people are leaving and I'm wondering if you're leaving because it doesn't seem worthwhile to go because a not really getting what they're looking for as far as truth and Jesus and so we pray for revival of the church, but you can also apply this in a personal way. And so if you have a prayer and I don't know what it could be but your praying for a loved one or family member or friend and you've prayed and you've prayed and just your heart's cry. Maybe it's for reconciliation. Maybe it's for somebody whose marriage is falling apart. Maybe it's for financial different but you have a prayer of your heart and your praying for that and you're still waiting for God to answer. So those are just three ways that we can apply this message and I'll try not to be too confusing as we go through it, you might just ask yourself who is your Judah you visit America is your Judah. The church is your Judah is the friend or family member that's uppermost in your mind when you think of a prayer and something that you waiting on God to answer. Who is your Judah, so Habakkuk in verse two, he says, oh Lord, how long must I call for help, but you don't listen or cry out to violence but you don't save. In other words Habakkuk is wrestling with the silence of God and he's praying for his Judah, and God's not saying anything and not only is God, not saying anything he's not doing anything in verse three why you make me look at injustice while you tolerate wrong destruction and violence are performing their strife and conflict. The balance therefore the law is paralyzed. Injustice never prevails.
The wicked him and the righteous so that justice is perverted and that to me sounds like a description of America today, but Habakkuk is wrestling with God with his stillness and God doesn't say anything and then God doesn't do anything in the situation is going from bad to worse and is your situation going from bad to worse in America. As we have prayed for revival in our minister who had prayer initiatives are spoken all over with that. Just give me Jesus revivals. I think of my dad's ministry for years.
My goodness, filling stadiums and many thousands of people coming to faith in the things that they've had on television. As far as the gospel is concerned, and instead of it making a difference a minute has made a difference in individual labs look at the nation as a whole instead of getting better it's getting worse and God seems silent and he seems still end and then finally when God does speak is not what Habakkuk wants to hear all so God says in verse five he says look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed and this is just a little principle I guess when you're praying for something in God's not answering look and see what else is going on because sometimes God works outside the box. Sometimes his answers to prayer are not fulfilled the way we are asking you he he can answer in a roundabout way and he can answer deeper prayer in our heart but not the surface things that we voice so he says look so in your Judah's life.
Your praying for reconciliation.
Your praying for home. Whatever it is something to happen for their health or in the church were praying for revival in America were just praying that God would turn us around and stop the downward moral and spiritual spiral into oblivion and the judgment would you stop at Warden and he says look look what's happening.
Look what else is going on, and so we need to take a good look and see what he's doing. That may be different than what would asked what is it going to accomplish the same purpose.
So I think it's importance to read our newspapers when it comes to America. It's important to stay abreast of what's happening in our nation and as hard as it is to read some of the news. I think it's important for us to stay current on the events that are taking place and look and and gather that into our prayer time so as were praying for what is God doing what could he be doing and how can we pray and be in line in step with what he's about. And then God says I'm going to do something in your days. You wouldn't believe even Val told you, and then he tells them I'm raising up the Babylonians. Oh my goodness, the Babylonians that's that's unthinkable the Habakkuk. This was unbelievable.
How could God raise up such a wicked nation and it's interesting in and first Kings 12 when God broke apart the kingdom of Israel after Solomon. He said this is my doing, and then in second Chronicles 34 when God sent in the Babylonians, God sent I sent the Babylonians. He sent in Nebuchadnezzar.
And so when we see was happening in the world when he raises up the Babylonians that secular history would look at the Babylonians and think will they just came after you know Egypt and they took over the world and they had, whatever, but they don't see that it was God's hand raising them up to use them as an instrument to bring his nation of Judah back to himself and God did it in such a roundabout way, and Habakkuk says you can't do that, you know, this is beyond belief and God then says in the essence Habakkuk.
I do care that Judah's not right with me and then he describes his lumber to use Babylon to make Judah right with me in verse six he says they are greedy, their ruthless their terrible their dreadful or self-promoting. There a lot of themselves verse nine. Their aim is violence. Verse 11 glory in their own strength and ability their godless. I'm raising them up for my own purpose. I'm going to use them to bring Judah to myself so how is God answering your prayer in a way that's unbelievable to you. God is been silent and still, about the way God was silent still and Habakkuk's life and Habakkuk was an honored profit and when he cried out to God. God was silent and still. So if God is silent in your life. If he doesn't seem to be speaking to you doesn't seem to be doing anything is not necessarily because he's upset with you that he's not blessed you that he hasn't heard your prayer you know God's ways are just not always send he was silent and he was still, and then he gave a solution that wasn't what Habakkuk wanted to hear. So think about Israel. I guess Israel today could be somebody that were praying for. I know many of us are praying for the peace of Jerusalem and could God raise up Hamas and Hezbollah, Iran, to put pressure on his so that one day she would open her eyes to see her Messiah and cry out to God, and we pray for revival of the church.
Could it be that God would use rioting in the streets and the polarization in our nation's capital, and the hostility between races as pressure on the church that finally we would cry out and say God we need you. And if it's your family member or a friend. Could it be, God would use bankruptcy or divorce, or disease, or death. Something to make them wake up to their need of God.
You see what I mean sometimes God answers our prayer, but his solution is uncomfortable and something that we found hard to accept and Habakkuk said no it's unbelievable that you would do this and it's unacceptable he recoils in horror. Lord I wanted you to do something, but not that ends Habakkuk's now in serious conflict. We see them wrestling in verse 12 he says, oh Lord, are you not from everlasting. My God, my whole and I want you to see that he's clinging to the character of God, he says, oh Lord, you're in control. Everlasting your eternal hole.
You are pure. You've appointed them. Your sovereign over rock your stability of our nation and your eyes are too pure to look on evil. You cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do tolerate the treacherous raw vendor you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves, so he's looking at the character of God and who God is. Doesn't seem to match God's conduct.
Habakkuk knows of God it and you know when were wrestling is just good to fall back on who we know God to be your righteous your good your holy your eternal your from everlasting to everlasting you are faithful your conch and this just doesn't seem to match what I know of you and how is your notice Habakkuk is wrestling with God to his face. He's not going behind his back and gossiping, you know, like and you believe God did that God the Mensa member. He's just talking to God when you talk to God like that, then God has the ability to come and speak in your life and answer some of those hard questions and any claims to what he knows of God's conduct when he says, how can you do this, how can you use a dirtier broom to sweep out a dirty room in our spoke. How can you use the evil wicked Babylonians to bring Judah back to you because the Babylonians Judah is bad, but not nearly as bad as the Babylonians.
How can you use such an evil, wicked, greedy, ruthless people to bring your people there bad, but they haven't reached that point and so Habakkuk just didn't understand so what is God doing that seems wrong to you, and when were awaiting and waiting and waiting and we have time to look and to pray and where listening and God is silent and still than what he seems to be doing seems to be out of character for him and so I just wondered out loud. Could he be using the brutality of ISIS to turn Muslims away from Islam.
You know he's doing that Tom Doyle is a wonderful friend, you might write down his name. He's written three fabulous books, one is killing Christians one is standing in the far one is dreams and visions in his stories of Muslims. Jesus is showing up in the Middle East. It's almost revival time over there and his stories are incredible, but one reason Muslims are turning to Jesus. They are so turned off by the brutality of ISIS is all but they don't want a God like that. I God that's vicious and hateful and does such cruel things to his own people and the Muslims are doing the atrocities the Muslims and so there's there open to hearing from Jesus in the coming to Jesus and then you wonder if God would use stabbings on the streets of Israel one day to turn Israel to cry out to God, start reading the baffles and looking for their Messiah prayed.
This is has not happened, but I had prayed that those videos of Planned Parenthood selling baby parts for profit would turn America against abortion and turn America against what Planned Parenthood is doing it for a little while there was outrage and then they seem to make it all about a legal issue about the way the videos were obtained and never mind what they showed. So were still waiting on that one.
But what is God doing that seems inconsistent with his character seems inconsistent to use ISIS to bring Muslims to him.
It seems inconsistent use stabbings to bring Israeli statement seems inconsistent to use the butchering of little babies. The maybe one day stop the abortion and history so sometimes God tests our faith 70 and member when Mary Martha sent word to Jesus. Lazarus is sick and implied was come do something about it. Healing and instead Jesus didn't say anything.
He didn't do anything. He stayed where he was for four days, and Lazarus that so the situation went from bad to worse when Jesus showed up and Bethany. Martha said Jesus your late and if you had done what I said this would have happened if you'd answer my prayer the way I prayed, you know, Lazarus would have gotten the situation and then Jesus said Martha if you just Buckley, you'd see the glory of God up to something you don't know anything about have a bigger purpose here and he challenged her again at the tomb.
Martha, do you believe in. She said yes Lord, I believe you're the son of God, and he told her to roll away the stone and he raised Lazarus from the dead and one of the things I think he was doing was giving them an audiovisual way because the next week he would be the one who was crucified. He would be the one who is buried and he was wanting the disciples of Mary and Martha others to remember God will raise the dead to life again. I just don't think they got the message that day but he had a more glorious purpose than just Lazarus's health and prosperity and feeling good. You know, and I think that something to keep in mind when things aren't going right that God may have a greater purpose. God sometimes his ways are just not ways. Sometimes you wait and you wait and you wait and if you if you rush the Lord you're going to come up with something that's going to be lesson he wants to give you if you wait, but waiting is hard, but God knows what he's doing.
His timing is perfect and Mary and Martha thought he was late, but he was right on time and you may feel like he's light.
I feel like is late actually for like is passed on from the come back, you know, but I know when that sky unfolds and were caught up to be with him that everything is going to be perfect and will think why did we think he should have come this year why we think he should've gone last June of this is the perfect moments and all God never does things any other way except perfectly so.
He is always on time, but sometime this fall were waiting. We wrestle wrestle with the silence wrestle with the stillness wrestle with the solutions we just can't figure things out, but his ways are not our ways and we learn to trust and I think those waiting times are testing times are tough times for what they strengthen our resolve to trust him. Their faith building time so Habakkuk wrestled and then he was watching while he was waiting in chapter 2 verse one. He says I will stand at my watch and station myself on the rampart. I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer him to give and this is the equivalent of you and me going and drive quiet time taking our Bibles and spending time alone with the Lord in prayer.
So when you have a set aside time that you meet with the Lord. And if you don't have that on a daily basis. And before you leave the mountain. I want you to think of a time that you could do that. Set your alarm a little bit earlier in the morning get up early morning or maybe it's in the middle of the day over your lunch break or maybe it's in the evening after the kids go to bed or you might have to give up TV you might have to give up shopping. You might have to give up something which you make time to climb up on those ramparts and see what the Lord will say and make time for that attended every single person in Scripture that God used in a powerful way had that as a common core. They spent time alone with the Lord including our Lord Jesus Christ and so many times I've been convicted if he needed to spend all night in prayer with his father if he needed to get up early before dawn if he needed to spend time at work. I think I don't really so Habakkuk climbed up on the ramparts he wanted to see what God would say to him and God speaks through his word. So when I want to see what God has to say to me open my Bible and I want to be in a passage of Scripture as I am now in the Psalms told you in. You can any passage of Scripture Genesis, Exodus, not Leviticus and Deuteronomy number is Josh was a great book. You know they just writes in the New Testament. Marco love Mark because he does everything so fastest right away straightaway stretches like reads like a diary you know Max is a fabulous book and you just take a paragraph asked what does it say what being in my life and you listen for that still small voice to whisper in your ear as you write the questions and let God speak to you go on the rampart you are spending time in prayer and you're listening to what God would say to you, you been listening to living in the light and when you go to n-gram lots.org there are free resources to help you in your study of God's word and his desire is that you embrace a God filled life step-by-step choice by choice living in the light